Meet the Newest PDF Research Advocates

The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) congratulates the 27 newest members of Parkinson’s Advocates in Research (PAIR).  They join 100 others around the country in influencing research and speeding the development of new and effective treatments for Parkinson’s.  In late October, the group gathered in New Jersey to complete the Learning Institute – Northeastern region, undergoing intensive sessions on the science of Parkinson’s and the process that brings new treatments to market.  They have returned to their communities to take on research-related activities through which they can share their perspectives as people touched by Parkinson’s.  

What is Your Goal as a PDF Research Advocate?

“My goal is to ensure that every person with Parkinson’s in our community has access to the latest research information and the tools to make an informed decision about participation.” - Bill Brawley, Etna, NH



“It is often difficult for people with Parkinson’s in Maine to participate in research studies simply because issues like distance and inclement weather make traveling difficult.  I’ll be working with PDF Research Advocate Gordie Guist (Class of 2010) to provide encouragement and logistical support to people who want to participate in studies.” - Cameron Weaver, Mount Vernon, ME



 “I’m working with three Research Advocates in our state and our local Parkinson’s specialist to inform people with Parkinson’s who live in the rural areas of Vermont, where few support groups exist, about opportunities to get involved in research.” -Cassie Blanchard, Randolph, VT



 “There are some impediments to study participation for people with Parkinson’s, such as being required stay off medications for a period of time.  One of my goals is to discuss this with researchers, so they will adopt criteria that are more compassionate to people with PD, yet still scientifically reliable.”
–Leonard Schwartz, Owings Mills, MD


Partner with PDF Research Advocates
If you are a doctor, research professional or support group leader, we invite you to partner with our advocates to influence Parkinson's research and speed new and effective treatments.  They are available to: (1) serve on national, regional and local Parkinson’s research advisory boards; (2) work with the research community to address gaps in Parkinson’s research; (3) speak at conferences and support groups on the importance of clinical study participation.  If you are interested in becoming a PDF Research Advocate, contact us for information about upcoming trainings.